Claudia Kawczynska is The Bark’s editor in chief. Cameron Woo is The Bark’s publisher.
Dog's name and age: Huck, 7 years
How you named your dog?
Huckleberry Finn was named after Mark Twain's character. He was an orphan pup who seemed like he was ready for a life of adventure as my little wing man.
Huck was dumped in a high-kill shelter when he was eight weeks old as a "street stray." A volunteer realized his thigh was broken so the woman contacted a rescue organization and begged them to take him. He was so tiny that he was put in with the cats. The rescue gave him a leg cast and placed him with a fabulous foster family.
When I visited the Huck in foster care we had instant chemistry. After finalizing the adoption the next day, he was being held by his foster mom, took one look at me as if to say, "There you are. I've been waiting for you." And we've never looked back. We have an amazing bond. He is my universe. We are a family.
National Park Service overrules restrictive dog policy
We just got the great news that affects not only dog lovers in the SF Bay Area but those who might be planning dog-friendly trips here. After a long drawn out battle with the National Park Service that we have covered in detail, the NPS has decided to drop their onerous and ill-conceived “rulemaking process” for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and go back to their 1979 pet policy, one that is a much more welcoming to us and our dogs.
What the GGNRA and some of their supporters were trying to do was nothing short of turning a national recreation area into a more restrictive national park. They aren’t the same thing. The GGNRA is surely a national treasure but it is also parkland that serves the citizens of the Bay Area long before it became the GGNRA. Created by Congress in 1972, back then it was made up of a mix of land in San Francisco and Marin Counties, to “concentrate on serving the outdoor recreation needs of the people of the metropolitan area.” It was part of a Nixon administration’s farsighted campaign to “bring parks to the people” and increase outdoor recreation in urban areas. San Francisco also gave Ocean Beach to the National Park Service (NPS) for inclusion in the GGNRA. What is important to note, is that when they did that, they required that the NPS promise to protect and preserve the land’s traditional recreational uses, inclouding off-leash dog walking.
The 1979 rules allowed people to walk dogs, including off-leash dogs, at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, Fort Funston, Marin’s Muir and Rodeo Beaches, and on miles of trails in the Marin Headlands—somewhat less than 1 percent of the total holdings. Those were the rules that the “rulemaking” process were attempting to abrogate. But it took a long, concerted, multiyear effort from thousands of dog lovers, their attorneys, many elected officials (including notably, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, whose district includes a portion of the GGNRA) and many others to stop this takeover.
So we all are celebrating here. We often go to Crissy Field with our three dogs, where all of us, humans and dogs alike marvel at the long expanse of pristine beach with its vistas of the Golden Gate and how well all the users get along. Dogs fetch, fisherpeople fish, joggers run, couples stroll, SUPers row, tots dig, recreation at its finest. Why try to change that?
Below is the release from the NPS:
California became the first state to ban the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits from pet stores. This law, introduced in February by Assemblyperson Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach), was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Friday, Oct. 13 and celebrated by animal protection organizations and animal lovers throughout the nation.
California Assembly Bill 485 amends the state’s Food and Agricultural Code and Health and Safety Code relating to public health. Beginning on January 1, 2019, pet store operators will be prohibited from selling any live dog, cat or rabbit in a pet store unless the animal was obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animal’s shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group. Pet stores will be required to maintain records that document the source of each animal it sells for at least one year, and to post on the cage or enclosure of each animal, a sign that lists the name of the entity from which each animal was obtained. Public animal control agencies and shelters will be authorized to periodically review those records. Pet store operators who violate the bill’s provisions will be subject to a civil penalty of $500.
When O’Donnell introduced the bill he explained that the bill’s main intent “is to promote adoption.” And noted that he already saved a couple of puppies. “Two members of my family, a German Shepherd and a Shih Tzu, were adopted from shelters and rescue groups.” It was his belief that the law in prohibiting stores from selling puppies from puppy/kitten mills and encouraging them to only sell pets obtained from shelters and rescue groups, would also promote partnerships advocating for the adoption of homeless pets.
Best Friends for Animals , noted in their press release, that California, as a state, now joins more than 230 cities, towns and counties across that country that have passed pet store ordinances to take a stand against allowing cruelly-bred animals to be sold in their communities. Those animals are generally kept in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water or socialization. AB 485 should help break the supply chain so that “mill” operations are unable to profit from their abusive practices.
Chris DeRose, president and founder of Last Chance for Animals (LCA), one of a large coalition of humane organizations supporting this bill’s passage, noted that, “the California legislature’s passage of Assembly Bill 485 is a landmark victory and one that we have championed for decades. We are elated that our home state is leading the way on this important issue. Requiring pet stores to sell only rescue and shelter animals is a bold venture— but one that will help rehome some of the six million unwanted animals that enter shelters each year.”
Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, President of the San Francisco SPCA, said that “Right here in California, each year we have thousands of animals who are in need of new homes. By signing this important legislation, Governor Brown can help stop pet mill cruelty, while giving rescued animals the second chance they deserve.”
Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA added that, “This landmark law breaks the puppy mill supply chain that pushes puppies into California pet stores and has allowed unscrupulous breeders to profit from abusive practices. We thank the California legislature and Governor Brown for sending the clear message that industries supporting animal cruelty will not be tolerated in our society.”
The opponents to the bill was spearheaded by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and variety of industry trade organizations, like Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), breeders and retailer groups. They put up a concerted campaign claiming that this bill would “block all of California’s pet lovers from having access to professional, licensed, and ethical breeders,” as was promulgated by Sheila Goffe, vice president of government relations for the AKC. Obviously this bill does no such thing, it only covers the sale of animals at pet stores, and does not in any way affect responsible breeders from selling their dogs face-to-face to the public. As long as puppy mills can sell their puppies with AKC-sanctioned papers—that provide financial incentives to that organization—the AKC will stand behind them and take on anyone who opposes puppy mills. Some breeders had posted petitions on change.org that used “fake news” arguments and scare tactics such as that this bill “would requires pet stores to sell unwanted strays, not only from Mexico, but some from more distant countries like Egypt and Korea, where dreaded diseases and parasites are commonplace.”
Luckily for California, the legislators saw beyond those specious arguments and enacted a law that has two straightforward goals: to cut down on financial support of large-scale breeding facilities and to promote the adoption of homeless pets. That definitely is something to cheer about!
Dog's name and age: Lily, 6 years old
Share similar personalities?
What are Lily's favorite tricks?
Go Night Night: Lily will lie down on her side and stretch her legs out until I say, "Wake Up" then she hops up with a big smile.
Hop Sit: From a down position, Lily will hop about two feet in the air and land in a sit. It’s super cute!
Dog's name and age? Bear and Moose, 8 years old
Can you tell us how you named your dogs?
Bear's name is self-explanatory, but she also harvests the qualities of a bear: powerful, yet sensitive and intelligent. And Moose, well if you give a moose a muffin...he'll ask for some jam to go with.
After breaking my hand, I was going to be out of work for 2 weeks. I wanted a dog to bond with, keep me company, and go explore with so I went to the rescue during my down time. The shelter was filled with Chihuahuas... it was loud and chaotic! But I witnessed the sweetest, fluffiest dog, sitting quietly and patiently at the front of her cage. Bear. The calm in the chaos. I knew she was meant to be.
Set in the green and rolling Texas hill country, Austin is known for its eclectic cultural events—think Austin City Limits and SXSW—Lady Bird Johnson’s bluebonnets in the spring and the bats of the Congress Avenue Bridge. It’s also a pretty dog-crazy place, as noted by Beth Bellanti Pander of Austin’s own Tito’s Handmade Vodka, where she’s the company’s Program Manager of Vodka for Dog People. Here are some of her hot spots …
Ahh … the water, the trees, the squirrel sightings: Red Bud Isle and Emma Long Metropolitan Park’s Turkey Creek Trail are great places for a leash-free dog to unwind. Dogs can go also off-leash at Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park, 293 acres of trails (which, FYI, they share with cyclists), hills and creeks. For a more contained experience in the central city, give Norwood Dog Park a try; it’s fully fenced and has a large, shaded main section and a separate area for small dogs. For time on the water rather than in it, stop by Zilker Park Boat Rental, where your dog’s welcome to join you in a canoe (bring his life jacket, as the rental company doesn’t provide them for dogs). Finally, if you and the pooch are in the mood for a movie, look into Austin’s “Movies in the Park” series, which runs through November in parks across the city; the pup will need a leash, but you’ll both enjoy being entertained under the beautiful Austin night sky.
During the upcoming Austin City Limits Music Festival held at Zilker Park, Tito’s Handmade Vodka is partnering with the nonprofit Emancipet to make veterinary care accessible to all pet owners. Throughout this weekend and next (Oct. 6–8, 10–13), festival attendees will have the opportunity to give back by taking and sharing photos in front of a special mural which will prompt donations (up to $10,000) from Tito’s to Emancipet.
Then on October 21, the 10th Annual Dogtoberfest celebration-fundraiser will be held. It will feature a 1K walk and an outdoor event that includes a costume contest, dog demonstrations and silent auction—all raising money for local dog rescue organizations.
Also on that day, the 4th Annual Dog Beard and Moustache Competition will be presented at The Mohawk, benefitting The Schrodi Memorial Training Fund which helps owners who can't afford top-dollar training be able to train and keep their dogs.
Barkitecture 2017, the custom doghouse design show, is set for Nov. 4. The fundraiser is hosted by Animal Lovers of Austin, and showcases the creations of city’s brightest architects, interior designers and builders.
Consider taking the HomeAway route; at press time, the online booking site had 157 pet-friendly listings in Austin—which, coincidentally, is its home base.
Dog-friendly eateries are thick on the ground in Austin. Jo’s Coffee not only welcomes dogs, it also sponsors the annual Lyndon Lambert Easter Memorial & Pet Parade. Perla’s serves some of Austin’s tastiest seafood, which can be indulged in on the patio in the company of your dog. Likewise, Mozart’s Coffee Roasters has patio seating (in this case, fronting Lake Austin) as well as—you guessed it—fine coffee drinks and a decadent selection of desserts. Three venues go the extra mile when it comes to kicking back with canines. Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden not only provides a leash-free area, it also makes a sausage just for dogs. At Dog House Drinkery, dogs are welcome to congregate with their people in the bar area or run off some energy in one of the Drinkery’s fenced OLAs. Wet your whistle under a shady tree at the Yard Bar’s off-leash dog park while your dog goes nuts on the agility course; the bar’s full-meal menu includes two “Dog Food” entries: Bones and Co sliders and house-made ice cream.
Beth notes that on Amplify Austin day, Tito’s Handmade Vodka does its part to raise money for local charities by creating a special cocktail served at participating watering holes.
Dog's name and age: Sherman, 18 years old
Adoption Story: Sherman came into our lives as a "therapy" puppy; I had recently lost my younger sister and he provided an enornmous amount of unconditional love. He was our first pet as a newly married couple and gave us so much love for 18 years. As a young pug, Sherman loved to play with toys and was always the perfect companion. He went everywhere with us and truly was our "kid"!
This picture was taken last year (2016), one week before he peacefully passed away at home. Sherman was truly a gift and holds a big part of our hearts. As he grew older, he was definitely a Southern gentlemen who loved everyone and everyone loved him!
Art works cited as cruel pulled from Guggenheim Museum show
The recent controversy involving the Guggenheim Museum’s decision to pull three art works from an upcoming exhibition has the art world and animal rights advocates abuzz. The art pieces in question were scheduled to appear as part of a much anticipated exhibition “Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World” slated to open October 6. The three works are intended to symbolize oppression in China. One 7-minute video titled “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other” by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, shows four pairs of Pitbull dogs on non-motorized treadmills, struggling to make contact and seemingly fight. Another video, “A Case Study of Transference,” shows two pigs mating in front of an audience. The third work removed is an installation, “Theater of the World,” which features hundreds of live lizards, snakes, crickets and other insects and reptiles on display under an overhead lamp. Protesters in favor of removing the works ranged from the ASPCA to PETA and the AKC, plus a host of vocal animal rights activists. An online petition demanding the museum remove the works garnered more than 600,000 signatures over five days, contending that the three works depict animal cruelty.
An initial response to the protests drew this comment from the museum: “Reflecting the artistic and political context of its time and place, Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other is an intentionally challenging and provocative artwork that seeks to examine and critique systems of power and control,” the Guggenheim said in a statement. “We recognize that the work may be upsetting. The curators of the exhibition hope that viewers will consider why the artists produced it and what they may be saying about the social conditions of globalization and the complex nature of the world we share.”
This week the museum relented to pressure and withdrew the controversial works, citing “concern for the safety of its staff, visitors and participating artists.” They now face criticism from the art community for bowing to public pressure in dictating what is acceptable art and what is not. This dilemma challenges those, like myself, who are both staunch supporters of artistic expression and advocates for animal rights. I have not seen the video featuring the dogs but the written description is sufficient to sicken me at the act of subjecting the animals to unnecessary violence, stress and harm. There is no intellectual argument for allowing this that I can accept. For now, knowing that it is wrong will have to suffice.
Others, such as Sarah Cohen, an art historian at the University at Albany whose research examines the artistic representations of animals, have wisely articulated the reasoning behind the emotions. She cited a perceived failing by the museum curators thus:
The curators themselves do not appear to have considered very deeply the problem of humans forcing certain behaviors in animals,” she said in an email. “Nor did they apparently stop to consider that using pigs as performers to ‘inform’ human spectators about their cultural hangups is a shopworn strategy—as old as dancing bears and the circus.”
“In my opinion,” she added, “the exploitation of animals to make artistic points is, well, bad art.”
Dog's name and age: Peanut, 14 years old
Peanut now well into her senior years has degenerative myelopathy, so her back legs don't work so well anymore. The vet initially thought she might not be the type of dog to take to a doggie wheel chair, but I had faith in Peanut and decided to try. After a few false starts, she got rolling and began taking short walks around the neighborhood.
People driving by often slow their cars down to watch and cheer her on! Peanut is quite happy to take in all of the sniffs and smells through the walk. Sometimes we still visit Peanut's favorite park in the East Bay hills, where this photo was taken. Peanut enjoys a double happy bonus, because she always gets a treat once she's out of her wheels and back indoors. I've learned old dogs really can learn new tricks, and am grateful and inspired by each walk and every day we get to spend together.
So many hopeful stories of goodwill and humanitarianism are emanating from the tragic circumstances caused by Hurricane Harvey and Irma—good people lending a helping hand in difficult circumstances. We were pleased to find out that our neighbors, the Berkeley Humane Society, have stepped up to assist a Florida shelter prepare for the anticipated disaster heading their way with the arrival of category 4 Hurricane Irma.
Yesterday we visited the Berkeley Humane Society that has just returned from the airport where they picked up 50 dog and cat evacuees from the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale. A number of humane organizations outside of Florida are coming to the aid of shelters helping to “clear” the decks in anticipation of Hurricane Irma. We are proud that our neighbor, who is just down the road from our offices, more than doubled their population with these new arrivals. We visited the shelter shortly after the dogs and cats arrived, and the animal care volunteers were busy taking tallies, and making sure that their new guests have their needs met and have settled in. We were shown around the shelter facility by executive director Jeffrey Zerwekh and Tom Atherr, director of development & communications who generously give us time to tell us about their work and introduce us to the new arrivals.
This Ft Lauderdale-to-Bay Area mission was organized by Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in nearby Walnut Creek, that also took in a large number of the animal evacuees, along with the East Bay SPCA and the Berkeley Humane Society. The remarkable organization Wings of Rescue provided the airplanes, piloted by volunteer pilots with GreaterGood.org, Freekibble.com and the Rescue Bank helping to pay for the flight. All told, more than 175 cats and dogs were evacuated. Ric Browde with Wings of Rescue noted that, “we wanted to be proactive before the storm and get as many of the animals as we had at the shelter out of the facility.” Christopher Agostino, President and CEO of the Humane Society of Broward County added, “This is a tremendous undertaking and we are grateful for all our partners making this possible. We want to be prepared as much as possible for after the storm and to be able to help our community.”
The rescue flight, with a stopover for refueling, took 10 long hours, with most of the dogs taking it in stride. During our visit, many of the dogs came up to the front of their enclosures to sniff and greet us. The BHS has a full veterinary facility on premise which helps make it an ideal partner in this evacuation project. The shelter medical staff was on hand to review medical records and make sure that everything was in order. The shelter will be arranging foster homes for many of these southern transplants, recognizing that dogs do much better with foster families paving the transition to forever homes. BHS will be waiving the adoption fees in order to help expedite the adoptions of these animals, said Altherr, but welcomes donations, be it online or in person, to help cover the shelter’s costs. “Berkeley Humane is grateful that we are in a position to help animals that were at risk and are now safe. Doubling our animal population with only a few hours notice is difficult and a significant drain on our resources, but we know what we have to do and we are confident our community of volunteers, adopters, and donors will participate in these efforts,” added Zerwekh.
Zerwekh explained that the Broward County people were extremely well-organized and were making evacuation plans, and lining up out-of-state shelters, in anticipation of Irma. Being able to clear their shelters means that the Broward people, in turn, can open their doors to the animals that will be needing assistance during and after the upcoming storm. The Florida shelter evacuation follows another recent transfer of animals from Texas shelters to nearby Oakland. Fifty dogs and 20 cats arrived in the Bay Area via a private jet, thanks to efforts by the San Francisco SPCA, Mad Dog Rescue, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and the Milo Foundation. The animals were flown in and slated for adoption in order make room for the many pets that got lost during Hurricane Harvey.
It seems that so many lessons, on the humane front, were imparted during Katrina and recent disaster relief efforts. It is wonderful to see that the nation’s humane network, stretching across state and regional boundaries, coming together to assist this long-distance rescue and evacuation collaboration.
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